Sunday, December 09, 2007


Every knitter I know is feeling the pressure of completing holiday knitting in time for their respective winter solstice holidays.

I, however, am not. Because I am not knitting for the holidays this year.

That does not mean that I am not knitting. Nor does it mean that I am not stressed. In some instances, I am knitting for LAST year's holidays.

I have yet to block the shawl I knit for my sister-in-law. I knit this for her because I didn't knit anything for her last year. It's KNIT, it just isn't blocked.

I am a third of the way through a Baby Surprise Sweater which I cast on and worked on in August, but haven't made a stitches progress on since then. The baby shower is next Sunday. Hmmmm. I wonder if I'll make it.

The Swallotail which I really had wanted to give to my friend Nancy weeks ago is stuck about 5 pattern repeats from the end of the first chart. It is BEAUTIFUL, but it doesn't want to be knit.

I haven't touched it in weeks because I made a mistake on it months ago and now every time I fix the mistake, I knit five rows before finding another mistake...five rows back. I feel like friggin' Penelope, without the entourage.

And then, as if you didn't already know that I am a big, fat idiot, I ordered some cobweb cashmere/silk from GEORGEOUS a light olive. This stuff is soft as a new baby's scrotum. And at $34 for 2500 yards, postage (from Britain) included, the price can't be beat.

Anyway, I swatched a couple of shawls and I didn't like any of them, so I just cast on a few stitches -- without a plan -- and started knitting. LOTS of knitting...LOTS of stockinette. It just seemed to WANT TO BE stockinette. And it is so light and dreamy and happy...knitting with cashmere is like mind. Myfanwe doesn't like it when I blog dirty.

Anyway, somewhere in the back of my mind, the plan has been to pick up stitches along the edges and knit a patterned border. It was only recently that I realized I had a) never done anything like that, b) really had absolutely no idea how to plan a border, work the math involved, or c) what books were out there to help idiots -- I mean people -- like me learn the skills necessary to plan and execute a nice border.

I am ashamed of myself.


sue said...

Barbara Abbey's Knitting Lace.
I knew I had seen a book dedicated to lace edgings somewhere --I just had to figure out where that was. It's on ($24).

sue said...

Also - Wendy of WendyKnits ( designed a very pretty lace edging that she used on a round sweater. If you check Dec 3 and Dec 4's posts on her blog, she links to a FREE chart for the lace edging pattern (Dec 3) and describes how she attached the lace at the same time she was knitting it (Dec 4). Good luck - show pictures when you are done!

Aidan said...

Because I am cheap, I ordered the Barbara Abbey book from Borders -- that way I don't have to pay shipping and, if December is anything like November, I'll probably have a couplon for 20% off. They said 1 to 6 weeks -- I can't wait. It sounds like just the book I was hoping for! Thanx!

Cherice said...

Good info here, because I've never figured out how to do the math to plan an edging (and it's too painful to talk about my attempts).

My husband kids me when I say I don't knit holiday gifts. I knit two pair of socks for gifts this year, one pair I finished in August and one pair in early November. Usually I knit more gifts, but because of the stress involved if it isn't finished in November then it isn't going to be a gift.

Sue said...

Glad you were able to find the book for less. I hadn't looked anywhere else for it, just remembered seeing it on someone's website. Looks like a great reference book, especially for someone, like you, who knits a lot of lace. Happy holidays!

Karen E. said...

Don't worry about knitting for last year's holidays. My mother has yet to receive her Christmas present from 2004. It's a counted cross stitch picture of the Eiffel Tower and it's been stalled for almost a year.

Aidan said...

Karen: Thank Dog! Now that I've read your comment, I realize that I am AHEAD of schedule and could probably take a brief respite from the forced knitting and cast on something else!

=Tamar said...

Speaking as one who hasn't made any such thing:

Start long, long after the holiday knitting is over, and after the main shawl is knitted and you know how big it is: begin planning.

To Plan An Edging: count how many rows you have to attach it to. Find a number that divides evenly into the number of rows. Find a pattern that has that many row repeats. Or pick a pattern, find out how many complete repeats will fit, subtract them and count the leftover rows you have, and find a pattern with that many rows to fill in at the end.
The hardest part: dealing with the pointy bit. Either knit a diamond shape there (with or without a design) or knit a quarter-circle there (or a shell or ruffles etc).

Susan said...

I realize I'm late to the party, but Victorian Lace Today has the info. you're looking for, too.